Brookline Booksmith has been a huge supporter of Catalyst and is one of the independent bookstores that carries Catalyst on its shelves. We depend on the support of independent bookstores for our magazine to survive, so we can't thank them enough. Next time you are in the Brookline, MA, area pay them a visit! Or shop their online store!
Read below to learn more about Brookline Booksmith and the history of this great shop!
What is the mission of the Brookline Booksmith?
One of our founder Marshall Smith’s core beliefs is in life-long learning, and two of our mottoes over the years have been “Dedicated to the fine art of browsing” and “An independent bookstore for independent minds”. Collectively, I think these are a good summation of our mission. Ultimately, we want to offer good books and merchandise for our customers, and provide a place to browse, discover and learn for our community.
What is Brookline Booksmith's origin story?
Brookline Booksmith began in 1960 as Paperback Booksmith. The first location was in downtown Boston. In 1961, a second store opened in Brookline at Coolidge Corner. In 1965, that Coolidge Corner store moved four doors down the street to where we are still located today. While a great deal has happened in the store and in the world since then, we are still here and Marshall Smith is still our majority owner.
How do you promote diversity and equality at Brookline Booksmith?
I like to think that we strive to promote diversity and equality in everything we do, from hiring and welcoming all into our store, to the books and products we carry, recommend and sell. It is very hard, at least in my mind, to separate being an independent bookstore from promoting diversity and equality.
What makes an ideal customer for Brookline Booksmith?
An ideal customer could be someone who knows exactly what they want, someone who needs a little guidance, or someone who has no idea what they're looking for but thinks we can help. Sometimes one person can embody all of those qualities at once, but if they are coming to our store, it's usually because they know they will find something interesting here.
What three ingredients make for a great day at the Brookline Booksmith?
3 ingredients – 1. sunshine is always preferred, but we roll with whatever comes our way 2. lots of friendly book lovers in the store 3. coffee, and then more coffee
What's the last book you read that you would recommend to a friend?
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett – He is an amazing writer, and this novel is beautiful and tragic, makes you really think about those you care about and what they mean to you.